Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Speckled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata)


French: Ortalide maillée German: Tüpfelguan Spanish: Chachalaca moteada
Other common names: Spotted Chachalaca

Penelope guttata


, 1825,

Rio Solimões, Brazil


Has been considered conspecific with O. motmot and O. superciliaris. Normally treated as conspecific with O. columbiana, O. araucuan and O. squamata. Differs from O. columbiana in much smaller size (2), broader and vaguer scaly pattern on browner breast (2), blacker vs slate-grey crown (2), rich brown vs olive tone to upperparts; from O. araucuan and O. squamata in much more chestnut-rufous undertail with less grey-black at feather bases (3), less rufous-toned rump (2), and blackish vs brown-shaded crown (2); from all three also in some vocal details. Proposed races caquetae (SE Colombia) and adspersa (E Peru) appear to be inseparable from nominate. Nominate and subaffinis apparently intergrade. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. g. guttata (Spix, 1825) – E Colombia S to E Peru, N Bolivia and W Brazil.
  • O. g. subaffinis Todd, 1932 – E & NE Bolivia and adjacent Brazil.
  • Descriptive notes

    49–55 cm. Nominate race is mainly brownish above, head and neck somewhat darker and greyer, mantle washed chestnut; tail with bronze gloss, outer feathers rufous;... read more


    Similar to that of other Ortalis, and despite some apparent differences in... read more


    Thickets, grassy slopes, palm groves, interface between forest and second growth, and low... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few data. Often takes catkins of guarumo (Cecropia) trees and also recorded taking fruits of Schefflera morototoni, S... read more


    Poorly known. Fledgling observed in early Jul in E Ecuador. Male in breeding condition in Jun, but in NE Peru nests and fledglings noted... read more


    No information available, but presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in many parts of range, even in densely populated areas; seems to tolerate human activity fairly well. Nominate race is fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Speckled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 March 2018).